Amanda Hayes trial expected to begin Monday
Posted January 24, 2014
Updated January 27, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The murder trial of a woman accused of the death and dismemberment of her husband's former lover is expected to begin with opening statements Monday afternoon in Wake County.
Amanda Hayes, 41, is one of two people Raleigh police have implicated in the July 13, 2011, death of Laura Jean Ackerson, a 27-year-old Kinston woman who had dated Hayes' husband, Grant Hayes, and was the mother of two of his children.
By late Friday, Wake County prosecutors and defense attorneys had seated 12 jurors and an alternate. They were expected to finish jury selection, adding another two alternate jurors, on Monday morning.
Grant Hayes was convicted of first-degree murder in Ackerson's death last year and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Defense attorneys have claimed that Amanda Hayes was scared for her life and that any involvement she might have had in Ackerson's death was because she was under duress.
But Grant Hayes, who is appealing his conviction, said last week in an interview with WRAL News that his wife killed Ackerson during an argument at their Raleigh apartment and that he had no involvement in the crime.
He did, however, admit to covering up the crime by cutting Ackerson's body into several pieces and dumping them in a creek in Richmond, Texas, near the home of Amanda Hayes' sister.
Prosecutors haven't commented on how Amanda Hayes was involved in Ackerson's death but argued during her husband's trial that Grant Hayes was involved in a custody dispute with Ackerson and that he lured her to his home because he wanted her out of his life.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Amanda Hayes faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.